Tag Archives: DIY

Charlotte & Chris’ Bush Hall, Gig Wedding

Charlotte is the genius and super lovely lady behind Restoration Cake – my favourite cake maker – FACT. She is also someone I consider to be a friend so when she told me she was marrying Chris in March I was so excited. Unfortunately I was unable to attend as it fell on the same day as Emma Case’s wedding, but luckily for me (and you!) Charlotte was still really excited to let me share her day with on my blog…and before you ask, yes she did make her own cake!

The couple threw themselves wholeheartedly into planning their big day and groom Chris was particularly enthusiastic. Charlotte made me laugh when she would tell me that throughout their planning Chris would constantly email her links to things he liked on Rock n Roll Bride!

Charlotte & Chris were never going to have a traditional wedding. Both really into music, a gig wedding at the iconic Bush Hall in London was the perfect idea for them! “We had known for ages that we wanted to get married but could never quite figure out how to do it in a way that was right for us,” Charlotte told me.”We knew that we did not want the whole traditional nine yards but could not reconcile the idea of a Vegas elopement leaving behind all of our family and friends. In the Summer of 2010, we went to a gig at Bush Hall and fell in love with the venue. We decided that our Wedding would be a gig, with our friends’ bands playing, and a massive party. We booked the venue before we told anyone that we had decided to get married!”

“We met at a gig and regularly go to gigs. We seek out new bands and listen to all kinds of music from past and present. Music had to be a central part of our day. We decided that a DJ would not allow us the control that we wanted over the music so we spent the 5 months leading up to the Wedding working on a killer playlist. The playlist was even divided into sections to fit around our 4 performers of the evening. We even arranged a separate playlist to be played 15mins before the venue was due to close, so that we could ensure that Lovecats by The Cure and God Gave Rock n Roll To You by KISS were our final songs of the night.”

They had a number of performers at their monster wedding gig including electric cellist Jo Quail, singer Evi Vine, burlesque dancer Vicky Butterfly and The Mark Gamble Band (Charlotte’s Dad’s band!) “People were probably a bit sceptical about the Father of the bride’s band performing but he really was outstanding,” the bride continued. “The setlist was classic rock and blues. Loads of guests danced. Dad was even joined on stage by his sister, my auntie Angela, who he used to be in a band with when they were teenagers! As a part of Dad’s set, he played my favourite song from my childhood… Postman Pat, with the latter verses rewritten especially along the lines of ‘Mr. White has a brand new wife’. He also read out messages from all of our favourite rock stars, with their best wishes and apologies for not being there.”

“Then I got up on stage with Dad and we sang Crossroads together. It meant the world to me to perform with my Dad. I also play bass guitar so I played the next two tracks – I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders, which perfectly expresses everything that I would have said in my bride’s speech were I more eloquent, and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga, which I performed in a raw rock style.”

“I don’t get stage fright but I found it much easier to relax if I just focused on Chris. After all, I was singing to him and seeing him smiling at me let me know that the show was going OK! Lots of my friends have not known me as a musician – as I left my last band around 5 years ago – so lots of people were quite shocked. Chris knew that I was going to do the Gaga track but the other two songs were a surprise for him too.”

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Kei & Wilson’s Three-Day ‘Camp Kasal’ Island Wedding

Kei & Wilson three-day wedding which they affectionately dubbed ‘CAMP KASAL’ (Kasal is the Filipino word for wedding.) On the first day the couple welcomed their guests, who all stayed over at their venue, and they had an intimate “Welcome to Negros” (Welcome to the Island) evening dinner. They served local delicacies such as batchoy (noodles), inasal (grilled chicken), kadios (A local stew) and apan apan (sauteed leaves).

The wedding ceremony took place the following morning and was followed by a tree planting, a traditional breakfast and fun activities. At lunch the guests were treated to a “Boodle Fight” (a military style of eating where guests sit on long tables and the food is served on top of the banana leaves) lunch roasted pig, grilled fresh fish, steamed veggies and ensalada (salad with tomatoes and salted eggs).

“We had several activites in the campsite for the guests,” explained the bride. “Since this was a camp wedding, there was no internet or television so we thought they could release their creative side by doing some beading, colouring, building toy airplanes, clay making and different activities such as pick up sticks, board games, bubble playing, swimming etc… There was also a SNAP STATION where there were polaroid cameras, Lomo cameras, Analog SLRs that guests could use and return after. Guests were shuttled back and forth to their hotel via a big Sugar Cane Truck.”

“Almost all the details were DIY,” Kei continued. “From the invites to the cord used in the ceremony which was made from different yarn colors and rope. My head piece was also DIY, the bridesmaids carried fresh picked lillies while the groomsmen brought pinwheels while walking.”

“We wanted the wedding to reflect us not just as a couple but also as individuals. When we were thinking of a theme we wanted something classic so we thought of chuck Taylors and corduroys which were a staple in everyone’s closet. We also wanted an adventure for our guests and a vacation for them so we thought of conducting it on a mountain and guests had to travel almost all kinds of transportation — Jeepney, taxi, airplane, bus and even truck. We made sure the trip will be worth it by providing them accomodation, welcome dinner and some meals and a breathtaking view. After the wedding, the guests wanted more adventure and some even decided to make our anniversary an annual reunion and adventure!”

If you want to see more, you can see the couple’s save the date video here and their engagement shoot here.

Be sure to also watch their adorable wedding video…seriously, cutest thing ever!

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A Super Cool Britanna Shoot

So the big day is tomorrow. As I’ve said previously, I’m not doing a huge homage to the royal wedding on the blog (there’s enough royal wedding fever elsewhere thank you very much!) however this shoot, inspired by the event, really caught my eye this week. I love it for it’s slight sex pistols/1970’s punk edge. Cool Britannia indeed!

The shoot took place in Regent’s Park, London last week. Bride Noelle hand made her vintage-inspired floaty dress. “We decided to do this cherish the dress shoot with a Great British theme, just in time to celebrate the royal wedding,” photographer Rebecca told me. “We also tied in a fairytale them as the royal wedding is set to be a true British fairytale. Noelle also brought along her pet Pug percy for the shoot, who was just adorable and loved rolling around on the British flag.”

No matter what your thoughts on the wedding tomorrow, I hope you’ll enjoy this stylish shoot…

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A Quintessentially British (slightly) Royal Tea Party

The royal wedding is kind of a big deal…people worldwide are gearing up for the ‘show’ and even London has gone all patriotic for once. Union Jack flags hang above Regent St and pretty much every shop window is littered with red, white and blue tat. I however, am not so excited about the whole thing. I’m not averse to two people falling in love and getting married…far from it in fact. I’m more than a little bit thrilled that William and Kate are getting married. I love marriage and I couldn’t be happier for them!

However it’s the media charade that surrounds the whole thing that kills me…and the fact that, as someone that works in the wedding industry, this is supposed to be some ‘once in a lifetime experience’ for me…and seriously, if you’d been sent as many irrelevant royal wedding-related press released as I have, you’d be pretty over it too. Yaaaawn. Most un-Rock n Roll wedding ever. Fact.

As you can well imagine, since the announcement of the wedding I’ve been sent a whole host of snooze-inducing royal wedding inspired photo shoots. None of which I’ve really given the time of day. However this shoot by photographer Adam of  Viva Wedding Photography really stood out to me. Mmm… tasty tea and scones and vintage styling – all with a hint of quintessential Englishness but without screaming “Check me out I’m a royal wedding photo shoot!”

I approve.

“I always had an idea for a decadent / last supper type of shoot,” photographer Adam told me. “So Maryanne of Jam and Tea and I arranged a venue / props / models etc and pulled it all together. The original idea was to just get the one final image with lots of impact of all the girls having a tea party, with a slight hint of coronation royal connection. However the way we built the set up, you couldn’t really see the china in detail and the original first world war union jack in the back ground was obscured, not that we wanted it to prominent.”

“I always like to get a bit more out of my photo shoots, whether it is a proper shoot or just the bride and groom on their wedding day. So I always try and shoot some separate portrait shots at my shoots. In this case we used the vintage union jack as a background, and shot each model in slightly different dress (all clothes are the models own, but some of them were so beautiful, including a lovely 1930s french silk top) each holding a different original coronation cup.”

And there you have it, my mini-nod towards the Royal wedding. I am genuinely thrilled for William & Kate and I really do hope that they have the most special day and the happiest life together. I’m not a completely cold hearted b****.

And although I may have a few more ‘Rule Britannia’ inspired shoots coming up on the blog this week, be rest assured that I’ve only chosen to feature the most kick ass of the bunch…and the ones with only an insy bitsy hint of royal wedding-ness!

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Jessica & Jason’s Halloween & Horror Wedding

Jessica & Jason were married at Grand Island Mansion in Sacramento. They both adore horror and so their Halloween themed wedding was held on the 30th October.

Their home is decorated with Halloween decorations all year long including a life size pirate that talks when you walk by him (!) so they actually brought a lot of items from their home to decorate the venue. They played Phantom of the Opera as the bride walked down the aisle and the majority of their guests dressed up for the reception party!

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Ilka & Mars’ Early 20th Century-Inspired Wedding

“Circa 1991, and like most 9 year old girls at the time, my dream wedding typically consisted of getting married in a castle, having a horse-drawn carriage at midnight and saying ‘I Do’ to Jason Priestly. So fast-forward 20 years…our castle was in busy Tooting Broadway, wedged in between a Mecca Bingo Hall and a McDonalds, with a KFC conveniently across the road. Our horse-drawn carriage was a local taxi, well beyond midnight. And Jason Priestly? He got bumped for my love and best friend, Mars. It was completely perfect for us. Sad to say, Brandon had been banished to the Peach Pit forever.”

I love Ilka & Mars already. How about you?

Mar’s proposed at the airport, just before Ilka was about to fly home to Australia, with her Grandmother’s engagement ring. She explained, “So after a couple of years of living together and rarely talking ‘seriously’ about getting married, I was waiting in the busy security line at Heathrow, about to spend 3 weeks back home in Australia for a Christmas apart, when Mars popped the question. After unknowingly foiling an attempted romantic proposal during a holiday in New York a few months earlier, it was a perfect chance to catch me unawares while I was unsuccessfully trying to stuff the contents of my entire handbag into a tiny clear zip-lock bag, and rush off to board the plane. It was simple and just perfect. After a quick, teary goodbye and my grandmother’s beautiful engagement ring now firmly on my finger, I was herded through security and onto the plane. Needless to say, the next 24hours consisted of me taking full advantage of the onboard trolley service, trying to come to terms with what had just happened!”

When she got home, Ilka told her Mum the story and they quickly started brainstorming wedding ideas. She had always loved vintage things and so mentioned to her Mum that this was the style wedding she would want. “I’m the only daughter out of four kids, and Mum and I have always shared an obsession with antiques and vintage clothing, so it was no surprise to her when I said I’d love a vintage dress,” the bride continued. “It was to my surprise however when she then opened up the wardrobe, gently unwrapped a parcel and produced the most incredible antique lace wedding veil. She simply said ‘I have this if you’d like to wear it?’ It was originally worn by my great-grandmother in 1928, and again by my grandma in the late 40s. I had no idea that mum had it in her possession. Once I’d picked my jaw up off the ground, I asked why she’d never mentioned it before. ‘I didn’t know what kind of wedding you wanted to have’, meaning, I shouldn’t feel obliged to wear it if I wanted something a little less traditional. So, now at least I had a starting point. The veil. It was coming back to England with me.”

After many fruitless attempts to find her perfect dress to go with her perfect veil, Ilka’s friend Kelli offered to make her one, “My brave friend Kelli was my partner in crime on the dress hunt. With grand plans to find an incredible vintage dress, we visited endless vintage textiles and clothing fairs over the next couple of months. But with each unsuccessful mission we became more and more disheartened. We just couldn’t find the right dress. I relented and went to a ‘proper’ wedding dress boutique, and although the dresses were no doubt very beautiful, I knew deep down that buying one off the rack wouldn’t be for me. Fortunately for me, Kelli is a fashion designer by trade and sensing my growing depression, kindly offered to design me a dress instead. God bless her!”

“So, we embarked upon a series of evenings with lots of red wine, sketching dress ideas. We took inspiration from anything from Katherine Hepburn movies to Alexander McQueen, endlessly repeated the mantra that would later haunt us as we rushed to get it finished 3 days before the wedding –  ‘don’t worry, it’s just a dress’. We laugh about it now, and refer to it as ‘it’s just a #!@^ing dress’!, and I know I will never be able to repay all the sleepless nights she had over it. We found some beautiful silk crepe in McCulloch & Wallis, a fabric shop in central London that has been operating from the same premises since 1902. The fabric had apparently been sitting untouched in the shop for 20 years, so it was a lucky find! I bought some 1920’s rhinestone buttons on Etsy that we used at the back of the dress. My belt buckle was an amazing 200 year old Georgian paste buckle found at Camden Passage Antiques Market, worn on a black velvet belt.”

The couple were keen to make sure that their wedding was a laid back, intimate and fun affair for their closest friends and family. They put a lot of work into the details of their day, but oh doesn’t it show?! “Neither of us was completely comfortable with being the centre of attention, so the idea of a big wedding was just not going to be for us. Style wise ‘The Blessed Union’ (as it was henceforth known) was influenced by eras that we already loved, 30s and 40s fashion, Victorian ephemera and industrial design. But overall we went with the philosophy – if it feels right go with it. We just made it up as we went along. We also attempted to organise everything by ourselves, keeping the majority of the wedding details a surprise for our family and friends to enjoy. I didn’t have any bridesmaids, as not only were a lot of my friends over the other side of the world and logistically it would be a nightmare to organise, but I was also really conscious that people were already sacrificing so much to come, and the last thing I wanted to do was burden anyone with a list of chores to do or fuss over me. Their jobs would be to have a good time.”

“And finally….Advice for people getting married? Try to cut yourself some slack. If it is your first time getting married, like it was for us, you’re not meant to be an expert at how the whole wedding thing works, no matter what you’re lead to believe in magazines and on TV! So be kind to yourself. Improvising is perfect; you’ll concentrate on the things that are ultimately important to you, and the whole shebang will be really personal. We generally made things up as we went along and it worked for us!”

“And if like us, if you are attempting at putting the whole thing together by yourselves, then I salute you. It’s bloody hard work, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way – at the end of the evening you can both sit back and share a proud moment that it all came together (and breathe a massive sigh of relief!)”

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